Contemporary Dance

Les Watanabe
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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I so wanted to love this dvd. I love to dance and where I live there are no modern dance classes for adults. So it is with great anticpation that I opened the package when it came. This is a contemporary modern dance dvd which says on the cover of the dvd that it is a complete class from warm-up to ending jumps.

But alas, it is just an instructional dvd for dance teachers, not the home dancer.

The class is shot in voice over with an actual dance class. The class is an intermediate/advanced class. There 9 students and 2 teachers. Each teacher takes a segement. The dvd is broken into segments.

Warm-up, swings, tendues and fondues, floor work, choreography, progressions and jumps.Each section has a demonstration segmentfollowed by an instructional segment.

This would have been an absolutely perfect dance dvd if they had laid it out better, improved the camera work and the actual instruction.

since this is an instructional dvd for teachers, Les and Melissa St. Clair are in voice over. Instead of counting like dance teachers do, Les describes what he is doing with the students. There are no cues or counting from him. His segments were the worse as far as giving actual dance instructions. The segments with Melissa were somewhat better in that she counted like in a real class.

The camera work was also very bad. The camera concentrated on the dancer's faces instea of their feet. Too many close ups.
Because of this, it was impossible to get the choreography. Going across the floor, the dvd only covered one side and not the other side.

I was so disappointed. I watched it several times and tried to come up with ways that I could use this dvd. I sent it back because it was not worth the 39.99 I paid for it.

You can see a clip of the dvd on youtube. Type in "contemporary dance class". I hope that Les comes out with a video that is usable for students. If they take the master to a professional editor and have it re-edited, they could make millions on amazon.

If Les or anyone connected to this dvd is reading this, here is what you can do to improve this dvd.

1. Count!!
2. Change the focus of the camera work. Shoot the students from behind so that the home viewer will feel like they are in the back of class. Shoot from the side to see foot work.
3. Move all of the instructional segments where you break down the movement,to the end of the dvd, sort of the way the Soul Sweat dvd is organized: The workout, the moves.
4. Make the music (percussion) louder.
What a waste! and what a shame! I would have used this dvd every day because the moves are wonderful. Try again Les.

Instructor Comments:
Nice voice